BT Vision customers, who were used to watching as much BBC on demand as they liked via their V-Box, were surprised to find an email stating the service was no longer going to be free.

Apparently, BT always intended to charge for the BBC content - which is available over an internet connection - in the same way it charges for Channel 4’s OD service.

But issues with the billing system meant the service was offered for free initially.

BT Vision: better than iPlayer?

“BT Vision emailed its customers earlier this month to explain that BBC programmes would only be available as part of the £3 a month TV Replay Pack, from May 27,” said Michael Jarvis from BT.

“The BBC programmes…are delivered in top quality over the BT Vision on-demand platform. Although customers have been able to view them for free so far, due to technical issues, BT Vision has never highlighted this benefit in its marketing materials.

“Customers are, of course, able to watch BBC shows for free on their laptop or PC in lesser quality on the BBC iPlayer, in the usual way.”

However, for customers who have taken the TV Replay pack, Jarvis did say BT is in talks to add new channels to the service, though no comment was made on whether this would hike up the price.